Frye: Game Commission to launch first marketing campaign
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Hunting is about to go mainstream in Pennsylvania, curiously thanks to some of the people least involved in the sport.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission is going to launch its first marketing campaign next year. It's going to run ads on radio and in print and online media, urging people to go hunting. It's going to post billboards with the same message. It's going to launch a streamlined website, gohuntpa.org, where people can quickly find out about things like when seasons open, where pheasants are being stocked, how to buy a license and more.
The campaign will focus on the nine people-heavy Pennsylvania counties that already sell the most hunting licenses: Allegheny, which ranks No. 1, as well as Westmoreland, Butler, Cambria, Erie, Cumberland, York, Lancaster and Berks.
“Fringe” hunters, those who buy licenses some years but not others, are the target. It turns out there are a lot more of those people out there than anyone realized.
Since 2009-10, when it went to an automated sales system statewide, the commission never has sold more than about 948,000 general hunting licenses in any one year. But it's sold licenses to a little more than 1.32 million people over that time.
The reason is “churn,” said Samantha Pedder, the agency's hunting outreach coordinator.
A look at license sales over the past four years found that only about 50 percent of hunters bought one every year. The rest came and went.
Thirteen percent of hunters bought a license three out of four years, 14 percent bought one two out of four years and 23 percent bought one only once in four years.
Additional surveys have revealed that between 18 percent and 25 percent of Pennsylvania's 10 million adult residents consider themselves “hunters,” said Keith Snyder, chief of the commission's hunter education and outreach division. That means the pool of potential license buyers is really between 1.8 million and 2.5 million annually.
“That begs the question: Do we have a recruitment issue, or do we have a participation issue? I would submit to you that we have a lot more hunters in Pennsylvania than we ever gave ourselves credit for,” Snyder asked.
The effort is going to cost about $500,000. Federal grants will pay for all of it, said commission executive director Carl Roe.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Impounded portion of Allegheny proving hotspot for muskies
- Outdoors notebook: Legislation would impact sportsmen
- Frye: Taking aim at DMAP permits
- Fishing report: Trout still plentiful, but other action also beginning
- Trout issues highlight management debate for Fish and Boat Commission
- Dispersed camping offers way to enjoy outdoors in solitude
- Mentored youth hunting program might be working